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Letter: Last chance for input on Responsible Dog Ownership bylaw
To the editor:
The Regional District thanks those residents who’ve recently written letters to the editor regarding the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw and the public review process.
Our Information Open House on January 29 was well attended (even with the snow) and our online questionnaire has received more than 500 responses. Sunday, February 2 is the deadline for completing a questionnaire.
We’d like to address one impression raised by several letter writers—that the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw was giving animal control officers new, broader powers to enter private property.
The bylaw in fact (Part 3 – Right of Inspection), is clearly publicizing, the Provincial authority that has been provided to any bylaw enforcement or animal control officer, through sections of the Local Government Act and Community Charter. Section 268 of the Local Government Act (Inspections to determine whether bylaws are being followed) states: if a Board has authority to regulate, prohibit, and impose requirements in relation to a matter, the board may, by bylaw, authorize officers, employees, and agents of the regional district to enter, at all reasonable times, on any property to inspect and determine whether all regulations, prohibitions and requirements are being met.
All Part 3 of the Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw is doing, is publically stating the authority under which animal control officers (and bylaw officers in general) are able to enforce the bylaw.
In addition, Section 49 of the Community Charter sets out that an animal control officer may obtain a warrant, search a place and seize a dangerous dog.
We suggest as we always have done, that any dog owner exhibiting the expected responsible behaviours should have no problem complying with the requirements of the bylaw. Those who choose not to be responsible will be held accountable for the choice they have made.
Regional District of the Central Okanagan